Our new mill!

We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of our New American Stone Mill. The mill, made with 40″ natural granite stone, is being handcrafted by Andrew Heyn of Elmore Mountain Bread in Vermont, US. We’re hoping to see it settled at Woodstock Farm before the end of the year. In the meantime, we’re slowing down on markets and sales as we build our ‘milhaus’, have a baby(!), and research as much as we can.

Designed for use in bakeries or specialty milling operations like ours, the mill will allow us to grind a variety of different grains, accounting for the entire grain production of our farm. The mill has lower revs per minute which means the flour temperatures will also be low and thus retain more flavour and suitability for baking. The use of granite rather than composite stone will also make for a finer grind.

It’s going to be a massive learning curve as we attempt to master the art of milling. We’ll be working with bakers as much as possible as we figure out what works best with our grains and what is most suitable for different styles of baking. We’re so thankful for the guidance of James Fisher, formerly of Cannibal Creek Bakehouse, who first pointed us in the direction of the New American Stone Mill, and also to Emily and Chris Salkeld of Small World Bakery who have been super generous with their knowledge and experience (and they’re also getting a New American Stone Mill!).

A big thank you also goes out to Ian’s parents, Bob and Jenny, and his nan, Mary, for their endless generosity and support through out this process. Exciting times ahead!

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Spiced pumpkin and date muffins

Courtney has grown a little obsessed with Julia Ostro’s recipes lately. The recipe for these little guys has been adapted from Ostro’s Spiced Pumpkin Cake. With a pumpkin surplus at Woodstock, it’s a great winter treat.

Ingredients

  • 350g pumpkin, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil, plus 1-2tbsp extra for roasting
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g wholegrain rye flour
  • 1 cup chopped dates, presoaked in hot water
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Arrange the pumpkin on a baking tray and sprinkle over the cinnamon and drizzle with the olive oil. Make sure the pumpkin is well coated. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until soft and caramelised. Set aside to cool then mash with a fork until smooth.
  2. Grease or line the muffin tin.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until a little creamy. Pour in the olive oil and combine. Stir in the cooled mashed pumpkin. Add the rye flour, baking powder, dates and spices and stir until everything is incorporated.
  4. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake until golden (half an hour, more or less). Turn onto a rack to cool and enjoy!

 

Sourdough Starter

There are a bunch of different ways to make a sourdough starter. Some are more specific than others. We find rye flour works best (even if you’re baking something wheat based). We also don’t weigh out our measurements. We find sourdough baking is quite intuitive and so we’re always doing things a little differently depending on the weather, or how the starter is behaving. It’s better to experiment and find out what works best for you. This recipe is just a guide.

  1. In the morning, mix half a cup of wholegrain rye flour together with the same amount of water to make a wet paste (almost like pancake batter) in a clean jar. Place the lid on loosely and leave it in a warm place in the kitchen.
  2. Leave for two days
  3. The culture should be bubbling and fermenting by the third morning. It will smell a little funky and acidic. Discard one tablespoon of the culture, and feed it a spoonful of rye with a bit of water to maintain the same consistency.
  4. Repeat step 3 every morning from here until eternity!
  5. By day 5 the starter should now be ready to be used. It should smell sweet and fermented, sort of like yogurt. The starter should slip into a regular pattern of rising and falling through out the day. Be sure to transfer the starter to a clean jar every couple of days now.
  6. If you’re not using the starter regularly, you can leave it in the fridge and only feed it every few days. However, make sure you pull it out of the fridge two days before it is to be used.

Rye Carrot Cake

Court baked this for her Mum’s 50th and it was sooo bloody good. She doubled the following recipe adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Classic Cakes recipe book. It makes a fair bit of icing (because cream cheese icing is to die for), so feel free to halve the ingredients if it’s not your thing.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups firmly packed, coarsely grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
  • 2 1/2 cups wholegrain rye flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bi carb soda
  • 2 tsp mixed spice

Icing Ingredients:

  • 60g butter, softened
  • 160g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 3 cups of icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease and line a 22 cm round cake pan
  2. Beat oil, sugar and eggs until a little creamy, stir in carrots, nuts and dry ingredients
  3. Pour mixture into pan, bake for just over an hour. Leave the cake in pan for 5 minutes and then turn onto wire rack to cool.
  4. Make the lemon cream cheese icing by beating the butter, cream cheese and rind until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar.

Crackers

We eat too many crackers because cheese is life, and cheese requires crackers. We based this on a recipe from here.

Ingredients

  • 200g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g cold butter, chopped into cubes
  • Salt

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, butter and ½ tsp of salt. Add 4 tbsp water and knead together. If it still feels dry, add more water until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
  2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle and as thin as possible. Brush a little water over the surface of the dough, scatter 1 tsp salt over and press in lightly. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then cut into squares. Place on the trays and bake for 10-15 mins until the crackers start to turn golden. Transfer to a wire rack and leave until cool. Serve with brie, fig jam and wine!

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We’re starting a newsletter because we want to share life on Woodstock Farm with the lovely people who use our flour! We’re big believers in transparency and building a connection with our customers, so we thought we’d better start writing! We’ve got stories to tell (both the good and the bad!), tonnes of recipes to share, and big plans for 2017 that we’d love you to hear about.

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Mulberry Tea Cake

A mulberry glut on Woodstock Farm makes for a delicious tea cake! We reckon you could substitute most fruits for the mulberries. The recipe is based off this one here.

Ingredients:

 

  • 250 g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 25 g ground almonds
  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • eggs
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 120g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 cups mulberries

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a round cake tin with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at the time, beating well between each one, then add the lemon zest and juice. Slowly mix in one third of the flour, then one third of the yoghurt, repeating until all the ingredients are combined.

Spoon half of the cake batter into the loaf tin, then sprinkle over half of the mulberries. Spoon the rest of the batter into the tin, finishing with the mulberries.

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve with tea and cream!

 

Ian’s 100% Wholegrain Sourdough Bread

The following recipe is based on Chad Robertson’s sourdough recipe from Tartine bakery. I have changed it a little to suit my timetable and to better complement the use of Woodstock’s wholegrain, stoneground flour. A really wet dough and long slow fermentation seems to work well with the wholegrain flour. The folding technique cuts out the need to knead, and it improves flavour. Baking the bread in a Dutch oven helps the bread to rise as it catches the steam released from the bread, which halts the formation of an air inhibiting crust. This is by no means the only way to bake bread with Woodstock flour, but it is my personal favourite.

 

bread-website

Ingredients

  • – 70g active starter
  • – 650g wholegrain, stoneground, hard wheat flour
  • – 600g warm water
  • – 5g salt

 

Method

Leaven: In the morning before you are aiming to bake the bread take 70g of active sourdough starter (I’ll be posting up a starter recipe soon!) and add 350g of flour and 370g of warm water. Mix this together in a bowl until it is a smooth wet paste with no flour lumps. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave in a fairly warm room until lunchtime. By the middle of the day the paste should have increased in size and have plenty of bubbles in it. Some recipes suggest testing your leaven for readiness by placing a spoonful of it into some water – if it floats it is ready. Otherwise it might need some more time.

 

Autolyse: This is the when you will add the rest of your flour and water, but not the salt. This period of time allows fermentation to get a head start before you add the salt, which naturally slows down fermentation.

Add the remaining flour and water and mix together with your hands. It may help to wet your hands before sticking them into the dough. Once combined leave covered in warm place for anywhere between 30 minutes and a couple of hours. It is possible to put the dough in the fridge for this stage and leave for around 8 hours. However I generally only wait 1 hour.

 

Bulk fermentation: After the autolyse, add the salt by sprinkling over the top of the dough. Next take one edge of the dough and stretch it up, then fold it over itself. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the fold. Fold 8 times and then leave for 30 minutes, or whenever you can next get back to it, and then stretch and fold again. After another 30 minutes fold again. Then fold every hour after that for about four hours. This stretching and folding develops the gluten, whilst retaining the flavourful gases building up in the dough.

 

Shaping: Prepare you proofing basket by sprinkling in flour or placing a very well floured tea towel in it. If you don’t have a basket a bowl will do the job.

When I make bread, I often cut about 200g of dough off at this point to put aside for English muffins. Take the rest of the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Again hands dipped in water might make things less sticky. Fold the bottom third of the dough up. Then fold in the sides and then top. Now roll the bottom over the top, so the seam is on the bottom. This shaping adds tension to the loaf and helps it to maintain its shape as it rises and cooks. Finally cup the loaf with your hands and rotate it, whilst retaining contact with the work surface. This action brings the loaf into nice round ball. Place your shaped ball of dough into the basket seam side up. Here is the video from Emily Salkeld that helped me to figure it out.  Emily’s Instagram has some serious bread inspiration.

Leave the bread to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or alternatively, and as I prefer to do, place it covered in the fridge overnight.

 

Cooking: Half an hour before cooking take the bread out of the fridge and preheat the oven and a Dutch oven, or any heavy oven proof dish with a tight fitting lid, to 250 degrees Celsius. Half an hour later, take the pot out of the oven and sprinkle flour or bran onto the base. Gently turn the loaf out into the pot and score the bread with a serrated knife or razor blade. Place on the lid and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 220 degrees. After 10 minutes take the lid off the Dutch oven and bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes or until dark golden brown.

When you pull the loaf out of the oven it should sound hollow when tapped on the base. Also take the time to listen to the cooling loaf, which will crackle softly. This is a good sound. Also try to wait until your bread has cooled before cutting into it to examine your crumb.

Happy eating!

Rye Chocolate Brownies

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This lovely recipe was adapted from Nigella. They’re perfect for rainy days. And sunny days. And all the days. You could add some walnuts for extra tastiness!

Ingredients

  • 200g soft unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 115g wholegrain rye flour
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line your your baking tray (approximately 20 x 15cm) with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter and 3/4 of the chocolate together in a saucepan.
  4. In a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
  5. Roughly chop the remaining chocolate.
  6. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar mixture, and then the flour, salt and chopped chocolate.
  7. Combine the mixture and then scrape out of the saucepan into the lined tray.
  8. Bake for around 25 minutes.
  9. When its’s ready, the top should be dried to a paler brown speckle, but the middle still dark and dense and gooey.
  10. Keep checking the brownies as they cook; remember that they will continue to cook as they cool.

Courtney’s Grandma’s Choc Chip Biscuits

biccies

 

Ingredients

  • 230g of butter
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 340g wholegrain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of condensed milk
  • 250g of chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
  2. Beat butter and sugar together
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients
  4. Spoon onto lined baking tray and bake for 12-14minutes or until golden!
  5. Enjoy in copious amounts